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The Covid Crisis and European State Aid Rules: The Case for a Rational Approach

Considering a new approach to find the way out of the Great Financial Crisis.

The pandemic has prompted the launch by national governments of emergency economic support programmes that aim at limiting the fallout of the sanitary crisis. The economic and sanitary outlook has worsened since the March Commission decisions. The health crisis is not expected anymore to be over by summer and some scenarios envisage its continuation beyond the end of 2020. In a seriously damaged global context, its economic and labour market consequences could extend to 2021 or even beyond.

In this context, there is a growing case for replacing time-bound exemption initially adopted by a state-contingent approach that would let the duration and extent of exemptions to normal rules depend on sanitary and economic criteria.

Drawing on research undertaken at Bruegel, at this workshop we will: review the experience of the Great Financial Crisis, take stock on the application of the temporary framework, assess priorities in the post-lockdown phase and the outlook for 2020 and beyond, and review options for reforming the current framework and extending its scope beyond end-2020.

This workshop is off-the-record and invitation-only. It is open only to Bruegel's Membership programme and select experts.